IMDb > House Arrest (1996) > Reviews & Ratings - IMDb
House Arrest
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guidemessage board
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

Reviews & Ratings for
House Arrest More at IMDbPro »

Filter: Hide Spoilers:
Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]
Index 29 reviews in total 

13 out of 18 people found the following review useful:

Cut little comedy

Author: White Dolphin
16 October 2000

I don't know why a lot of critics attacked this movie. What is there to attack? That's the problem with critics, they're always way too serious. Lighten up! No one said this would be Saving Private Ryan. It's not even Honey I Shrunk The Kids, but it's still cute.

I mean think about it, at one point (well, more than one) in our lives we all just wish we could lock our parents in the basement. The acting is not superb but it's cute and the kind you would expect from a movie like this. The one person I will hand it to is Jennifer Tilly, who really stole the show as Jennifer Love Hewitt's teen-like mother. Not bad at all, though not near to becoming one of the best. This movie will soon be forgotten but if it ever comes on TV watch it.

Was the above review useful to you?

7 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

good actors make it worthwhile

Author: Special-K88
25 November 2002

After learning that his parents are getting separated, a sensitive, idealistic teenage boy is so shocked and distraught that he recruits his younger sister to help lock them in the basement in the desperate hope that they'll actually talk out their problems and come to a rational solution. It starts out as a good idea, until his friends bring over their parents and lock them into the basement as well. Film's premise is far-fetched and protracted, to be sure, but it benefits from a talented cast (especially Howard), believable characters, and a good sense of family values. Not easy to take seriously, but meaningful and not bad for what it is. **½

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

A Wonderful Family Movie!

Author: livingdeadgirl_13 from vancouver
25 May 2003

After Grover(Kyle Howard) and his younger sister Stacy(Amy Sakasitz) find out that their parents, Janet(Jamie Lee Curtis)and Ned Beindorf(Kevin Pollak) are getting separated and maybe divorced they decide to lock them in the basement so that they can figure things out. But during school, Grover tells his friend Matt(Mooky Arizona)what he did to his parents and the school bully T.J.(Russel Harper)hears them and decides to lock his parents in Grover's basement too, along with Matt's parents and Brooke's mother too. Brooke is played by Jennifer Love Hewitt and she plays a popular girl in school on who Grover has a big crush on. I thought this was a wonderful family movie. It was very funny and I think it can be enjoyed by both kids and adults. All the actors do a good job and it's just a very entertaining movie. A lot of people have complained and said that this movie was very unrealistic and things like that would never happen in real life but c'mon, what movie is really realistic and things that happen in movies usually don't happen in real life but you should enjoy movies such as these while you still can. Anyways, I would give House Arrest 9/10.

Was the above review useful to you?

4 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Good flick

Author: scissorhands__emily from United States
24 April 2006

'House Arrest' is a really cute movie and hopefully will influence parents to think about things before just getting a divorce. This movie may not be the most realistic portrayal of how a kid would act when he found out his parents were thinking about splitting (ie locking your parents in the basement) but the reactions are pretty genuine in the fact that just about all kids have problems with their parents. Some things were def. over-exaggerated though, like when Grover (Kyle Howard) finds divorce papers in the mail and then 'flips' out by shoving a bunch of papers around and knocking stuff over. No kid, well usually, would be that mad about their parents divorcing (I'm sure they would be upset, maybe cry, but like wrecking stuff in some sort of manner, yea right). The acting wasn't bad, I thought it was pretty good all around. The story was funny and if your parents aren't like any of the ones in the movie, you probably will appreciate your own family more. I recommend seeing this if you can, it's on HBO a lot.

Was the above review useful to you?

5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Funny with a useful lesson

Author: shneur from United States
24 April 2006

This comedy, about a teenager and his younger sister who lock their parents in the basement until they work out their marital problems, is not as bad as it sounds. We wind up with a bunch of kids upstairs who know how to relate to one another but gradually have to work out how to keep practical things running, and a bunch of adults downstairs who are just the opposite. In truth, neither side does very well, but at least this is not the tired condescension of the kids screwing up and needing to be rescued by the adults: both groups are portrayed with a mix of severity and sympathy. Throw in a meddling retired chief of police across the street, and make him Ray Walston whom I think everybody loved most in "Picket Fences," and you have a film that is very entertaining, and also carries across some deeper meaning about what contributions young people and older ones can make to each other's ongoing development. Kyle Howard was 18 trying to play 14, which took a good deal of suspension of disbelief, but that miscasting seems to be an obsession Hollywood just can't seem to grow out of.

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Ask yourself a few questions during watching?

Author: j-w-andrews from United Kingdom
8 November 2005

The Calibre of the actors is not in question but what they did with the material was nothing short of a miracle. As Actors you have to make a living so please don't blame them, although I would say that the one that didn't fit was kevin pollack. He gave no reason for us to either empathise or sympathise with his character. Jennifer Tilly stole the show in this instance but I will have to admit Her daughter played by Jennifer Love Hewitt showed signs that her acting ability in comedic roles suits her better than he more serious roles she has been given. Admittedly she doesn't have a gutsy enough part for the film. In fact the characters were all too shallow to be taken seriously in any respect although the storyline was entertaining there is no real depth to it. The film needed more background to each of the families involved to succeed. As it happened the only redemption was Jenifer Tilly whom not seen until almost all the parents were kidnapped, made the best of a bad situation and became a catalyst for the the other characters to play off of. Verdict: Most of the actors made the best of a bad script. But not a bad film I felt the Director could have done better.

Was the above review useful to you?

2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Its Good

Author: smithstrouble from United States
4 February 2007

No matter how you beat around the bush this movie is still a good movie. Even though at times it can be sappy, like when Grover has his temper tantrum (which was absolutely funny) its still cute. My favorite part would have to be when the parents are dancing, it was so cute. But then you want to wonder what was going on with Mark's folks I mean at one point I was trying to understand why they were looking like they had sex the that night. When TJ started playing " Its Not Unusual" you see their heads pop out. Why would they be having sex when other people were around, thats kind of weird. Another thing it was kind of grimy how the fist thing that Mrs. Beindorf notices about her husband is his car. what was up with the nosy behind neighbor? These scenes really made you really want to go "hmmmmmm"? I love the part when Mr. Beindorf tells his wife that Mr. Krump would be his attorney. Krump looks at the wife and turns to Beindorf and say " I can get you the house, but kids might be a problem" All in all this movie is still good.

Was the above review useful to you?

Entertaining, could have been better, and cleaner

Author: vchimpanzee from NC
13 January 2016

This is a fantasy for kids, though it's not quite clean enough for kids. I think the version I saw had been cleaned up for TV, but still not enough to satisfy some parents. So let's say it's a fantasy for older kids.

Never in real life would parents have given in and stayed in the basement like that, though most of the time they were plotting to get out. What keeps this movie from being completely formula is that at times, the parents seemed content with their situation and tried to live with it. Some characters were just silly, but others had some substance. Jamie Lee Curtis gave her usual good performance and at times went beyond just the angry parent who wants out. And she was willing to humiliate herself for our enjoyment, as were many of the cast members involved in hilarious pratfalls and bizarre situations.

Even the kids weren't always just what one might expect. Our hero Greg had regrets about doing this to his parents. I think it was T.J. who started as the bully but ended up as so much more. There were a couple of scenes I could have done without, because it would have been better just to keep this movie light and funny. I won't say what happened, although this development gave the movie somewhat more substance.

Jennifer Love Hewitt was so cute back then, and she showed potential here. Jennifer Tilly was also quite adorable, driving her poor daughter crazy by trying to be just like her.

Ray Walston wasn't necessarily at his best as the crazy neighbor, but only people such as this would have allowed the kids to get away with what they did, since he couldn't be taken seriously. Or did the kids get away with it? I won't say.

Even Patrika Darbo was here! How many times have I seen her in the past month? Though I don't even remember her performance here now.

Some good music, but most of the music wasn't my taste.

It wasn't a bad movie but just could have done more.

Was the above review useful to you?

House Arrest for the Filmmakers.

Author: Python Hyena from Canada
3 September 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

House Arrest (1996): Dir: Harry Winer / Cast: Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Pollack, Jennifer Tilly, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Ray Walston: Pathetic excuse for a comedy let alone family entertainment. Two children lock their bickering parents in the basement to work out their marriage problems but when word gets around, more parents are brought to the same basement. While the parents continue to bicker, the kids wreck the house and invade the liquor cabinet. Why is this suppose to be funny? The children are in deep hurt and director Harry Winer seems to indicate that viewers will be humored by it. Story is predictable and it praises the deviance in the conclusion. Jamie Lee Curtis and Kevin Pollack are at the mercy of bad writing. The yell and blame at each other but will get back together in the conclusion because the screenwriter prefers happy endings as oppose to realistic ones. Jennifer Tilly plays a drunken idiot whose daughter, played by Jennifer Love Hewitt whines about it. They are the kind of mother daughter combo usually separated in the court system because responsibility is not amongst their code of ethics. Ray Walston plays a spying neighbor who is likely hiding out on his agent for having him cast in this junk. Instead of the damage of parental separation it advertises lewd behavior. It should be locked in a basement and never seen again. Score: 0 / 10

Was the above review useful to you?

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

It's unlikely that the events in 'House Arrest' would ever happen, but the film is still frothy and fun...

Author: Eddy Durnan
29 April 2005

House Arrest

Two kids are shocked when their parents announce that they are separating. As a last resort, the siblings decide to lock them in the basement and not let them out until their marital problems are solved. However, the friends of the children soon find out about what they are up to, and force their parents into the basement as well. Will the group of couples be able to sort out their relationships, or is this just one really bad plan gone wrong?

Okay, first of all, it's unlikely that the events in 'House Arrest' would ever happen, but the film is still frothy and fun. Even though some of the acting is highly irritating, the children (apart from the main guy) are very funny, as is Jamie Lee Curtis. While everything about the film is far too predictable and safe (even for a family film), there's an energy about the production that is impossible to resist. A guilty pleasure.

~ 6/10 ~

Was the above review useful to you?

Page 1 of 3:[1] [2] [3] [Next]

Add another review

Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Ratings
Awards Newsgroup reviews External reviews
Parents Guide Plot keywords Main details
Your user reviews Your vote history